Master Conservationist Program

Master Conservationist Returns to Lyon County in Fall 2024

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will offer the Iowa Master Conservationist Program locally in Lyon County beginning Aug. 6 and continuing once every other week through Oct. 15.

The program teaches adults about Iowa’s natural ecosystems, and conservation challenges and opportunities that exist in the region and locally in Lyon County.

Participants take part in hands-on learning and discover how to make informed choices for leading and educating others in support of conservation in Iowa.

This is the second time that we have hosted Master Conservationist in Lyon County. The first time we hosted it in 2022, we had a great group of participants who really enjoyed and found value in the program. Since a couple years have gone by, we thought there might be others interested in joining the program and becoming advocates for the natural resources and conservation in our area.”

Carly Herum, Lyon County Office Assistant and Agriculture Program Coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach

Herum said that the program consists of self-paced online curriculum and six face-to-face meetings. The online modules include lessons and resources by Iowa State subject-matter experts to be reviewed at the participants’ own pace at home. Module topics include conservation history and science, understanding Iowa ecosystems, implementing conservation practices in human-dominated landscapes, and developing skills to help educate others about conservation practices.

Six face-to-face meetings will build on the online lessons with in-person gatherings planned for 6 p.m. (meal at 5:30 p.m.) at each of the following locations.

  • Aug. 6 – Orientation, Rock River Brewery, Rock Rapids
  • Aug. 20 – Setting the Stage, Gitchie Manitou State Preserve, Larchwood
  • Sept. 3 – Aquatics, Lake Pahoja
  • Sept. 17 – Forests, Hidden Bridge, Larchwood
  • Oct. 1 – Prairies, Doon Rural Water Subsystem
  • Oct. 15 – Putting It Together in the Watershed & Planting the Seeds, Bus Tour Around Lyon County

The Master Conservationist program is a collaborative program offered in partnership with Lyon County Conservation, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and other local conservation leaders and professionals. Each face-to-face gathering will be led by subject-matter experts to demonstrate how the principles covered in the online curriculum play out locally.

Download the Printer-Friendly Master Conservationist Flyer

Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately for spending time outdoors.

Registration fee for the course is $50 due at the time of registration. That fee includes all course materials and supper each week.

Register Online Now! 

Or call the ISU Extension and Outreach Lyon County office at 712-472-2576 to register. 

For more information, contact Carly at 712-472-2576 or email

About Master Conservationist

The intensive blended online and in-person curriculum is developed to equip Iowans interested in natural resource conservation with the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions about natural resources and to become local leaders and educators. 

Master Conservationists are individuals that share an interest in the sustainability of Iowa's natural resources and in becoming better stewards of those resources

Course graduates are awarded a certificate and encouraged to get engaged locally to apply the information they learn and continue to build their local connections to conservation professionals and other passionate conservationists.

The Master Conservationist Program is administered through the Natural Resources team within ISU Extension and Outreach – Agriculture and Natural Resources. The project coordinator and county extension offices collaborate to plan offerings of the program, and a local organizing committee is responsible for planning field visits and classroom discussions that are paired with structured online lessons completed before attending.